Title: Archangel's Consort
Author: Nalini Singh
Page Count: 352 pages
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me
50 words or less: Raphael and Elena are in love and after all they've overcome in the past two books, should be able to withstand anything as a couple. Raphael's super powerful mother, though, might be a bit of a problem.
By now you've probably read a variety of other reviews of this title that commented on a variety of things. Some folks felt that this book was too much of a romance and not enough of an urban fantasy, some folks thought the action moved too slowly, some folks thought the conflict with Raphael's mom (hello all powerful Mommy dearest- yikes!) While I can definitely see where these people are coming from, personally I thought this book was excellent and lived up to my stupendously high expectations.
To begin with, I was really happy that the focus of this book was on the developing relationship between Raphael and Elena and how they were balancing, or attempting to balance anyway, their individual responsibilities and identities with that of being a couple. Their relationship had been threatened by so much that in a way it was necessary for them to demonstrate, to each other and to the world, that nothing and no one was going to come between them without dire consequences.
This also allows for other characters, such as members of the Seven, to take more of central role, which in turn helps to set the stage for future books in the series as well as books that don't feature Raphael and Elena as the primary couple. Archangel's Consort feels like a bridge book between the first two and what is coming next in the series, and I'm willing to take a somewhat easier pace if it keeps my investment in the series high.
As for the conflict involving Raphael's mom, I think it was interesting that things worked out the way they did. I think it calls back into question the issues raised by the first two books of where the balance between power and responsibility lies, and what happens to those who can't or don't want to shoulder the burden. Not everyone will be enthralled by the storyline but again, if Raphael and Elena are going to make it as a couple then they're going to have to pull together and presented a united front against their opponents, in whatever form that opposition takes.
Will everyone be happy with this installment in the Guild Hunter series? Consensus seems to be no, but you know what? That's okay. I appreciate a book where the focus is on telling the story that needs to be told to move the series forward, and the relationship between Elena and Raphael alone was worth the price of admission for me.
Overall Grade: A
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